The daughter of a respected vigneron, 26-year-old Adèle Rouzé, a certified land appraiser, is following in her father’s footsteps producing wine. After her studies were finished and following a stint in Bordeaux Adèle came home with the idea of making her own wine. She works parcels of old vines some planted in the 1920s and 1930s and others around 1950, all south/south-east facing mostly on the left part of the Cher river in Central France. She cultivates only sauvignon blanc, using only natural products in the soil. Quincy is part of a large group of wine-growing regions in the eastern Loire Valley, not far from Menetou-Salon, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, known for bright racy sauvignons infused with minerality that are refreshing, slightly citric and always fun. The soils in Quincy are sandy with gravel, giving more immediate wines for drinking young, whites to enjoy in the first two or three years for all their snappy fresh, herbal goodness. Adèle’s entire production of the 2005 Adèle Rouzé Quincy ($14.99) , around 8000 bottles a year, fits into one tank where it is kept on its lees until bottling after one racking and a slight filtration. Enjoy! —Jeff Vierra
Edna Valley is much more than just the winery everyone knows about (whose wines I find rock-solid, and wonderfully priced!). There are other producers making terrific wine in this under-appreciated appellation. Tolosa Vineyards was one of the first families to plant grapes in Edna Valley, and for many years sold flawless fruit off their 720 acres to other producers. Only recently have they held back the top 10% of their crop to make a wine under their own label. Boy, am I glad they did! The 2004 Tolosa Edna Valley Chardonnay ($16.99) is every bit as yummy as Chardonnays from the Edna Valley appellation can be. There’s something about this region that produces a very distinct style of juicy, fresh, tropical fruity goodness. Call it terroir, call it predilection, but Tolosa’s hit the mark. Delightfully ripe and fresh, this light-golden liquid does wonders on the palate. Zesty and fresh, this Chard’s my pick for white of the season. As tradition suggests, a great Chard-making region often means a great Pinot Noir-making region, and the 2003 Tolosa Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($19.99) delivers on that promise. Floral, vibrant, with persistent dark cherry and plum flavors and a thoroughly enjoyable finish, this deserves a place at a dinner feast as epic as Gilgamesh. A stunning value for under $20! Now, if you end up liking these wines, I do have Tolosa Edna Valley Syrah ($190 per case) available for special order by the case. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like a box. Happy Turkey Day, and as always, enjoy! —Martin Reyes
This month meet me a hop, skip and a jump away from the Franco-Spanish border, or more precisely the French winegrowing region known as the Roussillon. About 20 minutes north of Perpignan a critical mass of both young and more established vignerons is forming and making GREAT wine from old vines, low yields and very poor soil. Some of the big guns include Gauby, Mas Amiel, Olivier Pithon, Marjorie Gallet at Roc des Anges. I would also invite rising star Eric Sonne of Clot de l’Oum to join as the newest member of this elite group. Eric purchased vineyard land here in the late 1990s and produced his first vintage in 2001. His 18 hectares are divided amongst 33 different parcels within the communes of Maury and Belesta. Although the soil types are quite varied, one finds a predominance of granite (think Cote Rotie and Hermitage!) and smaller amounts of schist and gneiss. Erics parcels lie between 400-600 meters in altitude on predominantly sloping hillsides, which contribute to great exposure, more long, slow ripening and fresh elegant wines. The 2004 Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Clot de L’Oum “Compagnie des Papillons” ($18.99) is composed of old-vine grenache and carignan, and owes its name to the numerous butterlies which, after nearly a decade of organic viticulture, have returned to the vineyard. At once spicy, peppery and deep, there are copious amounts of ripe dark fruits, Spanish lavender and black olive notes, along with graphite and smoke on the finish. Rich and balanced Roussillon red at its best! —Mulan Chan
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